Colin Firth brutally kills an entire church group in a nearly unbroken take whilst the song Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd plays. That’s all I need to say about Kingsman The Secret Service. What other film offers the above? Did I forget to mention Samuel L. Jackson turns the entire world homicidal as he plays Give It Up by KC & The Sunshine Gang? If you’re not sold by this point I’ll mention there’s an assassin with razor sharp blades for legs and a pug.
Matthew Vaughn, the man who helmed Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class directs this refreshing take on the spy genre. It's clear the studio just let him loose and do whatever he wanted with the film and blimey he has done a marvellous job. Taking ideas whilst simultaneously nodding at spy franchises such as Bond and Bourne, fans of this genre will get a kick watching gadgets galore and villainous lairs onscreen.
Agent Harry Hart enlists underachieving teen Eggsy Unwin in Kingsman, a secret service with a deadly training programme. Whilst Eggsy makes his way through the stages, a deadly plot to cleanse the human race unfolds and it’s up to Hart and his team of newly recruited spies to stop the cunning Richmond Valentine.
Training montages can be tedious in film, however Kingsman’s intense and unique training mission montages mean no familiarity or repetition, take the skydiving with a faulty parachute scene. The tone remains even throughout, even when bone breaking violence occurs it’s comical, there are no darker moments just all out upbeat entertainment. Spoiler alert, some character deaths, especially Harry Harts, genuinely shock or that could just be me as I didn’t expect it.
The acting is terrific. Samuel L. Jackson is clearly having a blast playing a joyful, lisping megalomaniac whose blunt approach garners huge laughs. Colin Firth is utterly badass, the posh schtick works very well opposite the London chavs. Taron Egerton takes to the big screen alongside big names with ease and effortless style, watching him imitate Harry Hart in the enemy base near the finale is a highlight. Michael Caine, Sophie Cookson, Mark Strong and Mark Hamill add to the cool style and star power here, and there’s a terrific evil turn from Sofia Boutella, she is so sexy and witty as Valentine’s bodyguard. The mixture of posh snobby characters and chavs creates some great comedic moments, courtesy of the brilliant cast.
The church scene stands as one of the best fight scenes of 2015. Heads explode, blood splatters, knives pierce and bullets shatter in the most outrageous, loud and suitably in your face fight. I can see the cuts in the takes but they’re so well staged and edited this whole fight feels like one long take, this sequence alone should garner Colin Firth some sort of action star of the year award. Kingsman is one of those rare movies that leaves you with a big cheesy grin on your face from start to finish because of its gleefully over the top violence and spy style antics, a high recommendation.